Ongoing coverage of the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(June 16, 2016) Day 40 – Witch hunt
Parakeelia scandal ramps up
- Caitlyn Gribbin and Dan Conifer reported, “Treasurer Scott Morrison said the call for an investigation was simply a “desperate witch hunt” by the Opposition to distract from Labor’s economic policies.”: Liberal Party will ‘fully assist’ any probe into taxpayer-funded party-owned firm Parakeelia.
For more on the Parakeelia saga, see our separate blog here.
Bring back Tone
- Katharine Murphy reported, “PM says ministry won’t change if he wins election, hosing down suggestion Abbott could serve as defence minister”: Malcolm Turnbull quashes rumours Tony Abbott will return to frontbench.
- Tom McIlroy reported, “A senior government minister says Malcolm Turnbull will come under pressure to reinstate Tony Abbott to cabinet if the Coalition wins the July 2 election.” Peter Dutton says Malcolm Turnbull will be pressured to reinstate Tony Abbott.
Embattled Chris Jermyn
- Adam Gartrell reported, “Embattled Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn may have broken electoral laws by claiming he was living in a house that didn’t exist.”: Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn may have broken the law by enrolling with phoney address.
Mal protects Ziggy
(June 15, 2016) Day 39 – Mr Jobson Groath
The evolution of Jobson Groath
George Brandis wants no treaty
- Paul Karp reported, “Attorney general says plan would put at risk a ‘meaningful but modest’ change through constitutional recognition”: George Brandis issues warning over Labor’s Indigenous treaty plan.
Bob Katter shoots people dead
- The Betoota Advocate stated, “The Betoota Advocate’s editors Errol Parker and Clancy Overell would like to finally face the media regarding the swirling rumours that suggest it was them playing the murdered LNP and ALP candidates from the Kennedy Electorate in Bob Katter’s controversial new campaign video.”: Betoota Advocate’s Official Statement: Our Appearance In Bob Katter’s Campaign Video.
- ABC News reported, “An election campaign ad in which federal MP Bob Katter is depicted apparently shooting an ALP and LNP member has drawn criticism for its release just days after a mass shooting in Orlando.”: Bob Katter ad implying shooting days after Orlando mass murder draws criticism.
- Brisbane Times reported, “But the independent member for Kennedy, whose Akubra hat is equally famous, has gone a step further, releasing a campaign video depicting him as a cowboy shooting two men dead.”: Cowboy Bob Katter ‘shoots two men dead’ in campaign video.
Brisbane votes update
Caretaker conventions breach
- Mark Kenny reported, “NBN chairman Ziggy Switkowski wilfully breached caretaker conventions during an election campaign and did so against the express advice of the nation’s top public servant.”: NBN boss Ziggy Switkowski breached caretaker conventions, investigation finds.
NBN’s Bill Morrow likely to be called witness
- Katharine Murphy and Gareth Hutchens reported, “Pacific Gas and Electric, a company Bill Morrow joined in 2006 as chief operating officer, reportedly facing 13 criminal counts”: NBN Co executive likely to be called as witness after US utility disaster.
Brexit may cause instability to Australia
- James Massola reported, “Britain’s exit from the European Union would cause “a degree” of global economic uncertainty, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned.”: Malcolm Turnbull warns of ‘shocks’ in wake of Brexit economic ‘uncertainty’.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “The government’s rhetoric about the Greens is getting shriller. Perhaps the polling numbers are frightening.”: Scott Morrison takes Coalition scare campaign to the brink of parody.
Allegations of bribery in wild Russia
- Patrick Hatch reported, “”Not quite kosher” – that’s how a man who preceded Malcolm Turnbull on the board of a mining company describes how it did business in Russia.”: Panama Papers: Things ‘not quite kosher’ at Malcolm Turnbull’s Siberian gold mine.
ScoMo planning for 1920
(June 14, 2016) Day 38 – The Malcolm Turnbull Show
PM holds Jerry Springer style chat
Labor and deficit
- ABC Fact Check reported, “Labor has released its 10-year economic plan, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten promising to return the budget to balance in the 2020-21 financial year if elected. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann responded, saying Labor could not be trusted to fulfil this promise. “Labor when they came into government in 2007 inherited a $20 billion surplus and turned that into a record deficit,” he said. Was Labor responsible for “a record deficit”? ABC Fact Check runs the numbers.”: Fact check: Was Labor responsible for ‘a record deficit’?
- Michael Koziol and Tom McIlroy reported, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has agreed that the colonisation of Australia by British settlers could be described as an “invasion”, but has distanced himself from the idea of a treaty with Indigenous Australians in the near term.”: Yes, Australia was invaded by British, says Malcolm Turnbull.
Great Barrier Reef
- John Englart reported, “An election promise by the Prime Minister to divert $1 billion in Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) funding to improve reef catchment water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been soundly criticised as legally problematic, inefficient and far below the funding scientists say is required to Save the Reef.”: Reef election: Bandaids for an unmitigated reef catastrophe.
Indi votes update
- Wayne Jansson reported, Jasper coaches Marty Corboy to stomping Indi votes victory over Cathy McGowan.
- Tahlia McPherson reported, “Cathy McGowan campaigners will explore new security measures, after their Wodonga headquarters was targeted twice in six days.”: Cathy McGowan’s campaigners clean-up after second smashed window in six days.
Sturt and Mayo votes updates
- ABC News reported, “Independent senator Nick Xenophon has accused the major parties in South Australia of colluding to deny his candidates victories in local seats.”: Nick Xenophon attacks major parties over preference deal to squeeze party out.
Bill on QandA
- Katharine Murphy reported, “Bill Shorten puts in a solid performance, but with a few rough moments on the question of whether Australia was invaded, pension increases and border protection secrecy.”: Q&A: Bill Shorten takes questions on housing affordability, tax cuts and the NBN – as it happened.
To the booths
- Calla Wahlquist reported, “Pre-polling starts on Tuesday and the increasing number of voters using it make this a crucial period for the campaign”: Today’s campaign: parties step up a gear as first voting booths open.
Turnbull freezes taxation white paper
- Mark Hawthorne reported, “A green paper, outlining a set of proposals for tax reform in Australia, would be released by the end of the year. A period of review would follow, then a white paper, and the formation of a new tax policy the government would be taking to the next election.”: Malcolm Turnbull halts tax white paper process in major ‘reset’.
Turnbull Government promotes media censorship
- Sky News reported, “Journalists will gain access to immigration detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island if Labor wins the election, but the federal government says the move would weaken Australia’s border protection efforts.”: Detention secrecy must continue: Cormann.
- Paul Karp reported, “Coalition’s campaign spokesman says reporting would give information to people smugglers in response to to Bill Shorten’s pledge to offer access”: Keeping journalists out of detention centres helps stop boats, says Cormann.
Kelly O’Dwyer in trouble – Higgins votes update
- Tony Wright reported, “Liberal member for Higgins and and assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer appears to be fighting on more fronts than Winston Churchill.”: Kelly O’Dwyer now fighting on all fronts to hold Higgins.
- Mark Hawthorne reported, “Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer is under siege from Greens candidate Jason Ball in the once-safe Liberal seat of Higgins, with the latest poll revealing her primary vote has collapsed to just 44.1 per cent.”: Shock poll result for Kelly O’Dwyer. Is Higgins the ‘Indi of 2016’.
- Sky News reported, “Polling conducted for the Greens indicates cabinet minister Kelly O’Dwyer might struggle to win an absolute majority of votes on the first count in Higgins.”: Polls suggest Greens a chance in Higgins.
(June 13, 2016) Day 37 – Fibre comes home
Labor’s NBN play
- Anna Henderson reported, “At the same time, Labor will continue with the Coalition’s Hybrid Fibre Co-axial (HFC) connections — through Pay TV cables — despite former Labor communications minister Stephen Conroy labelling the technology “Operation Clusterf***”.”: Labor’s NBN policy promises 2 million upgraded connections, embraces ‘Operation Clusterf***’ cable option.
- Mark Kenny reported, “Twice as many Australians would get faster fibre-to-the-home internet connections under a future Shorten government, but the rollout of the NBN would cost taxpayers at most only $1 billion more and would be completed in the same time, Labor says.”: Labor’s big internet play – faster NBN broadband, same price range.
A very Queensland debate
Richard Di Natale in the Lodge?
Battlefield Queensland – Petrie votes update
Labor preference to Greens
- Latika Bourke reported, “Labor will preference the Greens ahead of the Liberals across the country and is considering a deal with Nick Xenophon which could see the independent senator pick up three Liberal seats in South Australia and possibly even cabinet minister Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt.”: Labor to preference votes to the Greens.
One Nation claims
- Melissa Grant reported, “Pauline Hanson says Liberal candidates have been approaching her party seeking preference deals. The One Nation leader says she and a Senate candidate have been sounded out despite Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declaring she is not welcome in Australian politics.”: Liberals sought One Nation preferences: Pauline Hanson.
Turnbull’s $1 billion concessional loans for Reef
- Jane Norman and Stephanie Smail reported, “Mr Turnbull will promise to set up a $1 billion reef fund which will provide concessional loans for “clean energy” projects that improve water quality by reducing run-off of pollutants and fertiliser and limiting “ocean outfalls” from sewage treatment plants.”: Malcolm Turnbull to pitch ‘comprehensive’ $1b plan to protect Great Barrier Reef.
Turnbull commits to new Townsville stadium
- Adam Gartrell reported, “Don’t call it a blatant boondoggle. According to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Coalition’s promise of $100 million for a new Townsville football stadium is part of a bold new vision for Australia’s cities.”: $100m for a local stadium? That’s not pork barrelling, that’s a bold vision, says PM.
- Brisbane Times reported, “Malcolm Turnbull will match Labor’s promise of $100 million for a new Townsville sports stadium as the battle for Herbert heats up.”: Townsville stadium: PM to match Labor cash pledge.
Parakeelia re-enters the campaign
For more on the Parakeelia files, check out the No Fibs report here.
- James Robertson and James Massola reported, “Parliamentary staff were working for the Liberal-linked software company that has transferred large sums of money to the party exceeding $1 million, emails obtained by Fairfax Media show.”: Government staff worked for Liberal software company Parakeelia.
(June 12, 2016) Day 36 – The national interest
Never been a more exciting time
- Josh Butler reported, “Brothels, abusing voters, forgetting property and busted businesses.”: There’s never been a rougher weekend to be a Liberal candidate.
Bill in Townsville
- Josh Butler reported, “‘Australia cannot be an innovation nation while ripping the heart out of CSIRO.'”: Labor to reverse government’s CSIRO cuts, invest $250 Million.
Senate heading for disaster?
NBN jobs offered to Ireland
- Adam Gartrell reported, “Recruiters for the National Broadband Network have angered local workers by seeking Ireland nationals to come to Australia to take up jobs on the massive multibillion-dollar project. “: ‘We need these jobs here’: Irish workers pursued for National Broadband Network.
Language of Hansonism
Left-wing, right-wing: From Batman to Maranoa
- Vote Compass reported, “The Melbourne electorate of Batman is the most left-leaning in Australia, with Maranoa in outback Queensland retaining its 2013 title as the most right-leaning seat, according to data from the ABC’s Vote Compass.”: Australia’s most left-leaning and right-leaning seats revealed.
Greg Hunt attempts to silence
- Simon Crerar reported, “Veron says he tried to meet with Australia’s environment minister, Greg Hunt, who he claims lacks a basic understanding of the long-term dangers the reef faces as ocean temperatures warm, but Hunt wasn’t available.”: Australia’s environment minister Greg Hunt tried to silence “Godfather of coral”, Professor Charlie Vernon.
Chris Jermyn for McEwen
- Adam Gartrell reported, “It was supposed to be an epic reality competition that would reshape the social media landscape.Instead it was an epic multi-million dollar failure overseen from start to finish by embattled Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn.”: Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn’s missing millions after social media flop..
Battlefield Queensland – Bonner votes
- Adam Gartrell reported, “The Coalition is set to retain the Brisbane seat of Bonner comfortably, in a sign Labor is failing to make inroads in the key Queensland marginals it needs to win to be in with a chance on July 2.”: Bad sign for Labor as Coalition tightens grip on Brisbane seat of Bonner.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “Labor says its additional hospital funding, on top of the $2.9bn offered by the Coalition, can revive a scrapped agreement with the states.”: Labor pledges $2bn more than Coalition for hospitals.
Coalition, Labor & Greens preferences
- Josh Butler reported, “As we reported earlier, we’ve finally got confirmation that the Liberal Party will preference Labor over the Greens, and that Labor will return the favour in at least some seats. The agreement will do serious damage to Greens’ hopes of snatching some inner-city seats like Batman in Victoria and Grayndler in NSW, so its no surprise that the progressive party is very upset about the news.”: The Greens are very mad about ‘dirty’ Liberal-Labor preference deal.
- James Massola reported, “The Liberal Party’s decision to back Labor in the inner city has three dividends for Malcolm Turnbull; it allows the Prime Minster to take a “principled” stand against the “extreme” Greens; it allows him to wedge Labor, who cannot and will not put the Liberals ahead of the Greens in every electorate; and, it will please the Coalition’s conservative base.”:Greens’ dummy spit over preferences as unedifying as it is hypocritical.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “Deal struck between parties means Liberals will preference ALP before Greens in inner-city seats.”: Liberals to get Labor preferences in three rural seats to fend off Nationals.
- James Massola and Michael Koziol reported, “The Liberals have smashed Greens hopes of picking up new lower house seats at the July 2 federal election after the party confirmed it will put Labor ahead of the third party.”: Blow to Greens as Liberals preference Labor first.
Medicare appeal from Bob Hawke